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Guest Post: 7 Things That Will Make You a Superb Fiction Writer by Jade Parker

 

A lot of people read books, although it sounds a little strange in the year of 2017. And you would be surprised to know how many writers are there globally. It looks like more than 75 thousand books are uploaded to the Kindle store on a monthly basis.

It’s obviously a harsh competition for young writers out there. But there is still enough room for fresh talents to grab their share in case they prepare for the challenge. All you need to do is to come up with a good idea, create a writing strategy, and work hard to develop it. If you are still wondering how to do all that, just move on with our article.

Top 7 tips for successful fiction writing

The best fiction novelists always create a specific way of writing or come up with a unique style and text structure. However, there are some writing rules common to all novelists. Here are the 7 most important ones.

  • Be creative with the plot

Successful fiction novels are based on great plots. This is the part where your imagination should play the lead role. Give your best to offer readers the most interesting storyline, well-developed characters, and short and simple paragraphs. Of course, it’s usually easier to say than to do this, so you can put some extra efforts into this stage of the writing process. We recommend you two things:

– Engage in online communities. Online platforms and groups dedicated to fiction writing are full of experienced professionals and passionate readers. They can offer you many valuable ideas or put remarks to stories that you thought were perfect.

– Consult with the colleagues or writing services Like https://www.assignmentmasters.co.uk/ The fact that you compete in the same market doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to talk to your colleagues. Most of the writers go through same problems throughout careers and you can often find help during discussions with rivals.

  • Start strong

The best way to keep the readers interested in your book is to start as close to the end as possible. It may sound strange but just think about it for a minute. How many times have you seen a movie starting from what seems to be the final scene and then you can’t wait to see what really happened in the end?

The principle is the same when it comes to fiction writing. Once you get the readers hooked to the story, they won’t be able to let go of the book until they find out about the unfolding. This is the perfect way to make a bunch of passionate readers.

  • End chapters stylishly

It’s true that the previous tip will attract many readers but it is still very important to keep them engaged all the way throughout the book. It means that you should make each chapter a special story with the cliff-hanging end which will resolve in the next section. This model is great to preserve impatient readers who don’t have enough diligence to read the entire book.

In order to achieve this point, you also need a few side stories to support the main line of events. Using subplots, you will add some spice to the novel and attract the wavering booklovers.

  • Happy is not good

Yes, almost all readers love to see the happy ending. But it doesn’t suggest that you should make a whole novel based on joyful and upbeat characters. Do you remember the famous opening line to Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina? He wrote: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

This essentially means that happy is boring. You should design characters that will suffer and face enormous challenges in life. That way, you make a perfect background for the plot and leave the readers wondering about the resolution.

  • Give them someone to root for

If you want to be a great writer, you must know that readers need to relate to your characters. Therefore, you should always create one character that the reader would like to root for. Readers see such character as their alter ego and deep inside they are anxious to see if he/she will succeed.

It even doesn’t have to be the main character. It is much easier to find yourself in some average Joe from the neighborhood than in the superhero. This once again puts an emphasis on side stories and the characters that cover subplots.

  • Avoid clichés

No matter how successful it might have proved in the past, don’t ever use the plot that everybody knows for ages. Sometimes it’s rather difficult to come up with a brand new idea but that’s what fiction writing is all about. If you really can’t create anything better than the common story pattern, try to take another point of view or put some other character on the center stage.

Sometimes even the smallest changes to the cliché make an entirely different outcome. Additionally, you must also do your best to avoid the washed out phrases and expressions. Prove your writing skills through relatively new discourse, even if it means using slang where necessary. Anything is better than cliché.

  • Surprise the readers

The surprise is a crucial element of fiction writing. If your readers know exactly what is about to happen in the next scene, be sure that you are not a good novelist. Put your characters in unexpected situations and find alternative solutions to the crisis.

You can imagine each scene and list the possible outcomes. When you do that, always skip the ideas that instantly come to your mind. The reason is simple – your readers will probably think about the same option, too. Let the readers worry about your characters, it’s the basic principle of great writing.

Conclusion

In the world full of fiction novels, it is not easy to make a good reputation and distinguish yourself from your peers. However, huge competition doesn’t make it mission impossible. You need a decent writing plan, a nice plot, and some tricks to attract the readers. Following our advice here, you’ll be on the right path to achieve all this. So go on and write, we expect to hear about your new novel soon.


AUTHOR BIO
Jade Parker is a branding expert who enjoys reading tons of fiction novels. Needless to say, she became a very strict critic in the process. Despite her extra-curricular work as a personal consultant Jade still has enough time to help writers, companies and entrepreneurs create their online brand presence.

 

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A Cure For Writer’s Block…Seriously!!!!

I’ve been having troubles with writing lately While my issues have nothing to do with writer’s block, I still try to find different methods of overcoming it. You never know what might work to help overcome brain fog as well…and I think I may have found something.

I was searching on YouTube (I’m a bit of a YouTube addict) and I saw this video called, Writer’s Block Instant Cure. I thought, yeah right. It’s probably going to be another one of those nice pep talks that try to convince you writer’s block doesn’t exist and it’s all in your head.

Well, this is kinda like that and kinda not. It redefines writer’s block so you can better understand what’s happening and how you can truly overcome it, so I wanted to share it with my fellow authors out there. If it helps you out, let me know in the comments below!

 

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The Illusions of Dialogue by Jesse Teller

I came from a family of storytellers, I mean, gifted storytellers. They could pick you up and lift you into a tale like none other I have ever known. I apprenticed under them, and it made me the writer I am. I have been telling stories all my life and writing for most of my life, and at first, the storytelling didn’t translate to the written word.

If I wrote the story as I heard it, it always fell flat. There was no way to transfer the experience of telling a story to writing one. The teller has more tools.

Words don’t make the story. My grandfather had an eighth-grade education. He had a very basic vocabulary. But man, listening to him tell a story was an experience I cannot describe.

Well, I’m going to try.

It was not the words he used at all; it was the way he spoke. He used inflection like a master working a clay pot. He had a grip on the dramatics. He knew when to sip.

Have you ever been listening to a story being told by a truly gifted storyteller, and he stops to take a sip of his drink? There is magic in that moment. The entire room freezes. No one speaks. No one breathes. The sounds of the room drop down to nothing. The TV in the background turns itself down, and everyone waits.

The thing I learned from my uncles, grandfather, and mother is that it is not the words, the sound effects, or even the tone of voice. It is in the pause. The pause holds all the power of the tale. Conversation is this way as well. Magical moments wait within the breath between words. The rhythm of the speaking tells the story in a way nothing else ever could.

Think about great orators. The breaths they take and the way they pause are the magic of the speech.

You don’t believe me. You are looking at me like you don’t believe me. Okay, let’s look at any piece of dialogue. I’m a writer. I happen to have some right on hand. Hold on while I get it.

Okay, I’m back. Did you notice that the period at the end of that last paragraph did not accurately convey the passage of time? Remember that. We are getting to that.

Now, in order to make my point, I’m going to show it to you bare bones and suck the illusion right out of the piece. Yes, my friend, there are illusions in every great piece of dialogue. That is actually why we are here. Just wait.

“I know, you make cheese. You’re a spy. Named Smear. Who makes cheese. Smear, the cheese maker. I would wager a guess that you’re the most dangerous cheese maker this country has ever known,” Rayph said.

“I’ll get better,” Smear said. Both laughed.

“I have to go. Got a thing to do. Thanks for the tea and what-have-you.”

This is the dialogue of a scene I have written. All the conversation is there. Every word of it. I have not changed a letter, not one piece of the conversation.

So, this is what we know now. Smear makes cheese. He is also a spy. He is dangerous and the country knows it. Rayph is leaving, and he has thanked Smear for the tea. We know that. It is right there. But the illusion of talking has been sucked out of it.

No one talks like this. This is totally unbelievable. Sadly, this is what I read a lot of the time. You can’t feel the cadence. You can’t feel the rhythm of the conversation. That is a major problem in writing because we are given crude tools to work with. We have a comma. That tiny piece of punctuation is supposed to imply a pause in the conversation. Well, it doesn’t. What would you say if I told you there is a long pause between the two phrases “thanks for the tea” and “what-have-you”? There is a pretty long pause there. Rayph also takes a breath for effect between the phrase “I know you make cheese” and the phrase “You’re a spy named Smear.” A pretty important pause lives right there. This conversation, like every one you have had, is riddled with pauses for effect and little breaths that give the dialogue meaning and make it worth listening to or reading.

In order to write real and convincing dialogue, we need to feel those pauses. They need to be there, but a simple comma or period will not do. It is too crude a tool. Go back up and read that piece of dialogue again. Feel how stilted it is and how clunky. Now, this is how it actually reads. This is the illusion I wove in it to give it breaths and dramatic pauses:

Rayph nodded. “I know, you make cheese,” Rayph said. “You’re a spy. Named Smear. Who makes cheese. Smear, the cheese maker. I would wager a guess that you’re the most dangerous cheese maker this country has ever known.”

“I’ll get better,” Smear said. Both laughed.

“I have to go. Got a thing to do,” Rayph said. He stood and drained his mug. “Thanks for the tea and,” he motioned to the cheese, “what-have-you.”

No comma in the world is going to change the first version into the second. But if we weave a little magic with tag placement, then we give the illusion of a pause. Look at the first line.

“I know, you make cheese,” Rayph said. “You’re a spy. Named Smear.”

Placing “Rayph said” in the middle of the speech makes the reader pause to read that tag. The thing about tags is they are almost invisible. If you are reading a well-written piece, you don’t even notice them. They blow right by you. When you read that sentence, you don’t even think of the tag. But you have to pause in the conversation long enough to read it. That one beat, the amount of time it takes to read that two-word tag, gives the reader just enough of a breath to make it look like the speaker stopped talking for a moment, thought about what he would say, and said it.

One tag did that. It was not punctuation. It was not a really long period or comma that created the rhythm of the speech. It was a tag.

Let’s keep looking. I want to take a minute and look at the last part of the dialogue. Let’s start here:

“I have to go. Got a thing to do,” Rayph said. He stood and drained his mug. “Thanks for the tea and,” he motioned to the cheese, “what-have-you.”

I needed a longer pause between “Got a thing to do” and “Thanks for the tea.” So, I broke free of the conversation and, just for a breath, described an action. In the time it takes to read that tiny bit of description, the speaker has taken a long pause. I do the same thing between “Thanks for the tea and,” and the line “what-have-you.” In that breath, he has looked at the cheese and has been unwilling to call it cheese at all. He instead calls it what-have-you.

But when I throw in that line of Rayph motioning to the cheese, it gives the idea that he had no idea what to call it. Was it cheese or some other disgusting thing that he ate? Without a pause right there, a break in the rhythm of the conversation, we don’t understand at all.

Great dialogue, like a well-told story or a perfectly orated speech, is filled with pauses for dramatic effect. We can’t use those pauses when we write a conversation, but by using brief spots of description or a well-placed tag, we can create illusions of that same effect as if we were standing in the room hearing Rayph and Smear talk about tea and what-have-you.


Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

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